By Tom Clark b. 1941 Tom Clark
The god of war assured King Arsounas, “Do not be fooled by words. No life is taken. Know that no one was ever born, nor does anyone die.” In the violent mini-eternity of the warrior, combat is conducted according to a ritual formal as song: no one is ever born, no one can ever die. The left-handed rockabilly guitarist whose left arm was severed by an RPG round at Dak To has come back to life in a part of my body that died long before we started to patrol this part of the river of eternal woe. His life is mine though I never lived it. The violent backwash of the rotors is crimsoned by a fine aerosol spray of blood while a loudspeaker amplifies the goddess’ excited laughter.

Tom Clark, “Eternity” from Light and Shade: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2006 by Tom Clark. Used with the permission of Coffee House Press,

Source: Sleepwalkers Fate: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 1992)

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Poet Tom Clark b. 1941


SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Subjects Time & Brevity, War & Conflict, Living, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

 Tom  Clark


Tom Clark has combined the diverse roles of poet, biographer, novelist, dramatist, reviewer, and sportswriter during his writing career. In addition to dozens of books of poetry, a play, two novels, two story collections, and numerous biographies of literary figures, Clark's works include a book co-written with star baseball pitcher Mark Fidrych, poems about such sports legends as Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue and Bert Campaneris, . . .

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SUBJECT Time & Brevity, War & Conflict, Living, Social Commentaries


SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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